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Oil Crash Will See Drillers Cut Spending to Shield Dividends

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For the world’s largest oil companies, the accelerating crash in crude prices will probably mean scrapping investments from America’s shale fields to the seas off Brazil as CEOs protect dividend payments.

The parts of the industry most exposed to cutbacks include certain U.S. shale deposits, where break-even costs vary from $40 to more than $100 a barrel. While some, such Russian oil tycoon Leonid Fedun, say the slump will halt a good deal of production, others argue that the shale industry will be able to maintain production for some time at these price levels.